Ashley H. (USA) says,
The info that I’ve found so far says that, for the most part, photogs work 6-7 days a week, 10+ hours. I’m not afraid of hard work … but what is your workload like? Do you have days off? Do you ever get a chance to get off the ship if you need to?
I guess that depends who you work for.
As for me and my colleagues, we work every day, even on holidays. Only exception is when you earn a day off as a reward. (It may be different on other ships.) Yes, a 10-hour work day is not unusual. The reality is, work load differs from ship to ship because of the itineraries. So some work days can be just 8 hours.
Just like anything in life, there are trade-offs. More work means more money. Less work means less money… And more free time. Personally, I prefer the latter. 😉
Then there is this thing called in-port manning, which means that a number of crew members are required to stay onboard and carry out certain duties in the event of an emergency while in port. Once in a while you may be required to do in-port manning, which means you may not get off the ship on given days. Crew don’t like it, but that’s ship life.
Yes, I do get to get off the ship. Depending on the ship’s sailing schedule and my own work schedule, time on shore may be very limited.